Monday, July 17, 2006

Random Technical Optimism

Some neat gadgetry I've seen lately:

-A house that consumes less than a kilowatt-hour a day.

-Syntech company moving ahead with new Ethanol process.

-It figures: I move away from Ottawa, they approve an expansion of light rail. (I rode the existing train to school every day for 4 years. Pretty pleasant.)

-Solar PV: The path from niche to mainstream supplier. Interesting lecture by one of the major conventional manufaturers of silicon PV cells. I thought the most interesting thing he said in the entire lecture was that, in some respects, the rapidly falling prices in silicon PV have been bad for other alternatives in the market: A firm can think up a PV system that theoretically undersells conventional silicon by, say, 50%, but by the time they actually get it to market, the incumbents will probably have already caught up to them, if not surpassed them. (I forget where I found this link.)

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